We’re now just days away from Sergey Kovalev defending his light-heavyweight titles against fellow undefeated P4P fighter Andre Ward. Much attention has been placed on their recent fights to get hints on how things will play out Saturday night. Although winning easily on the cards, Kovalev had difficulty over the summer in finishing off Isaac Chilemba. In this exclusive HBO discussion, Kovalev discusses how the challenges of the Chilemba bout have prepared him for the biggest fight of his career on Saturday.
Your last fight was in your native Russia. What did you learn about training outside the US and fighting Isaac Chilemba, a fighter you said has similarities with Andre Ward?
I was very excited to be fighting in my home town and very happy because for a long time I didn’t fight there. The most important thing for me was that I fought there as a world champion and I defended my titles. There was little bit more pressure when I fought there because I had more responsibility, I had my family, my friends and everybody who knows me in Russia to take care of. I did not want to let everyone down, but I think I gave good fight and all fans enjoy it. Also, Chilemba is tough fighter, very good defense, so he is not a fighter that you can think will be easy. The fight against Chilemba was like a test for my fight with Andre Ward. We never know what Andre Ward will bring against me onNovember 19, he is good defense and is fast so I must be ready for anything. We are preparing for best possible Andre Ward in camp, so all I can do is train hard and prepare with my coach and my team. I am going in the ring with strong belief that I will get victory.